Building the Rio Grande K-27 Volume 1


K-27 General Arrangement

 If you have, or have seen, any of Kozo Hiraoka's other Construction Manuals - currently Building the Heisler, Building the Climax and The Pennsylvania A3 Switcher you will know exactly what this book contains, wall to wall drawings and building instructions for a model for which no castings are required, other than the main driving wheels.

In fact this is Kozo writ large in every way. The publishers say "this is the most comprehensive text on building a live steam locomotive ever published" and I cannot disagree. This may be expensive, but is worth every penny, and actually costs less that many drawing sets for other model locomotives.   

As the prototype of this model was 3 foot gauge, and the model is designed for 3 1/2 inch gauge it is very considerably bigger than Kozo's other models, and cannot really be considered a beginner's model, although a determined beginner should succeed if they do follow the instructions.

413 pages chock-full of drawings, including many three-section foldouts, colour photos and detailed text. Hardcover book is based on long-running serial in Live Steam & Outdoor Railroading magazine, but the layout is all-new. Dimensions are metric.

Features material not included in magazine articles. Volume 1 contains the first 27 chapters, and covers most of the engine.

Volume 2 will be be released after the serial concludes in the magazine. This will mainly include building the tender.


Overall length: (engine and tender) 5 foot 9 inches

Engine length: 41 inches

Cylinders: 1.34" bore X 2.05" stroke

Dry weights: Engine 70 kg  Tender 28 kg

The K-27 series of 'Mikados' (2-8-2s) were the first and smallest of this wheel arrangement introduced by the Denver & Rio Grande and were known as 'Mudhens' as they seemed to scuttle along, having low slung  connecting rods. Two survive, one being operational on the Cumbres & Toltec line.